Where is Your Online Search Going?

Dishonest companies set up websites that look like legitimate places to get information on finding a job, joining the military, or getting government benefits. But they might not help you with any of those things. Instead, they’ll take your personal information and sell it to other companies. The companies that buy those “leads” then try to pitch you products or services you didn’t ask for.

The FTC has reached a settlement with Career Education Corporation (CEC). According to the FTC, CEC bought leads from companies that set up sites to attract people looking for things like jobs, how to join the military, and Medicaid information. All to collect people’s information. The people who responded to those sites then got calls trying to get them to enroll in CEC’s post-secondary schools.

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How to protect your "Digital Footprint"

The term "digital footprint" goes back to at least 2014. However, it's now become a popular term and it's something that everyone that uses the Internet for anything has. 

Your “digital footprint” includes all traces of your online activity, including your comments on news articles, posts on social media, and records of your online purchases.

When you know the boundaries of your digital footprint and take steps to contain it, you can help protect your identity and your reputation.

What is a digital footprint?

Every time you post something online, share content, or even when a website collects your information by installing cookies on your device, you are creating a digital trail. This includes your IP address, your login details, and other personal information that you reveal online. Information that is posted about you also gets added to your data trail.

What your digital footprint can say about you?

It’s a good idea to have a positive digital footprint. This information is your digital identity, and it could show up when someone searches for your name online.

Your online identity can influence different aspects of your life. For example, employers, schools, colleges, and law enforcement officials could use your digital footprint as a basis for character assessment.

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Website Hosting - Is The Security Adequate

The Computing Center hosts websites and has done so for over 2o years. We're defintely NOT the least expensive, our clients choose us for our security and reliability. We also offer everything that's listed in the article from the FTC. 

by Andrew Smith, Director, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection

Your website is the online face of your business. Some companies have the in-house capability to manage their web presence. Others hire a web host to handle it for them. When launching a new business or upgrading their site, savvy business owners comparison shop for web hosting services. At the top of your shopping list should be the security features built into what you’re buying.

In our meetings with small business owners across the country, you asked for more advice on selecting a security-conscious web host. As part of our cybersecurity initiative for small business, the FTC has suggestions about what to look for and what to ask when hiring a web host.

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Online Social Circles are becoming riskier

 by Jacqueline Beauchere, Microsoft Chief Online Safety Officer

Bullying, unwanted contact and receiving unwelcome sexual images and messages were the most prominent risks in our latest digital civility research and, while strangers still pose the majority of online threats, data show a distinct rise in risk-exposure from people’s own social circles.

According to preliminary results from our latest study, 63 percent of online risks were sourced from strangers and people whom respondents knew only online – largely unchanged from the previous year. Meanwhile, 28 percent of online risks came from family and friends, up 11 points. In addition, findings revealed a relationship between risk-exposure and familiarity with the perpetrator: respondents who had met their abuser in real life were almost twice as likely to experience an online risk. More disheartening were indications that people were targeted because of their personal characteristics, namely gender, age and physical appearance.

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Deep Web & Dark Web basics

Occassionally we get asked about the deep web and dark web. They are two very different places. Norton by Symantec has done a good job of explaining the differences as well as talk about the basics.

Believe it or not, accessing the deep web is easier than you think. In fact, you probably already have. The media hasn’t done a great job of differentiating what’s considered the deep web and what is the dark web — two similar names for two very different things.

What is the deep web? 

The deep web is just like it sounds — below the surface and not completely dark.

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are able to search and index websites because of links. They use links to rank search results according to things like relevancy, inbound links, and keywords. Browsers search the so-called “surface web,” but that’s where the search stops.

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